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Old 08-05-2012, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,746,616 times
Reputation: 3833

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeg View Post
Aaarrgghh.... 5 times tonight I've tried to add reputation to folks but it won't let me.

Yes, I agree. As an avid kayaker I would love for them to put in some rapids like the two photos in one of the posts above.

I hadn't visited downtown in GR in years but went down for a weekend afternoon last month and was pleasantly surprised by the riverwalk they do have now and the restaurants and such nearby.
Definitely worth cultivating further in my opinion.

(I was a cable installer downtown in the 90's so I took a drive down Division etc..... was surprised at all of the gentrification that's been going on. I wonder where all of the people who were displaced live now???)
I assume you're talking about S. Division from Fulton to Wealthy. Most of the missions are still there, and the homeless people. The big projects like the Catholic Diocese new HQ, replaced an old (contaminated) dry cleaning operation. RHD Tire sold a bunch of their old buildings, which have now been turned into residential projects, and moved over to Grandville Ave. They were actually happy to move, so I hear, and got quite a bit for their buildings.

Most of the rest of the projects were all vacant buildings. Verne Barry Place sits where a vacant lot was before. Dwelling Place has renovated a lot of spaces into low-income housing. There's still a bunch of vacant retail spots on the West side of the street, but those buildings are all pretty cool if they get rehabbed.

It has the potential to be the best retail area downtown, but it's challenging with the huge concentration of homeless people in that area. Pekich Park is a great example. Beautiful little pocket park was created, and it's a haven for drug dealers and the homeless. Several local artists in that area are trying to combat it, since the cops can't keep up with it.

http://analogmutant.wordpress.com/20...hrough-action/
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids
235 posts, read 460,297 times
Reputation: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
I assume you're talking about S. Division from Fulton to Wealthy. Most of the missions are still there, and the homeless people. The big projects like the Catholic Diocese new HQ, replaced an old (contaminated) dry cleaning operation. RHD Tire sold a bunch of their old buildings, which have now been turned into residential projects, and moved over to Grandville Ave. They were actually happy to move, so I hear, and got quite a bit for their buildings.

Most of the rest of the projects were all vacant buildings. Verne Barry Place sits where a vacant lot was before. Dwelling Place has renovated a lot of spaces into low-income housing. There's still a bunch of vacant retail spots on the West side of the street, but those buildings are all pretty cool if they get rehabbed.

It has the potential to be the best retail area downtown, but it's challenging with the huge concentration of homeless people in that area. Pekich Park is a great example. Beautiful little pocket park was created, and it's a haven for drug dealers and the homeless. Several local artists in that area are trying to combat it, since the cops can't keep up with it.

Pekich Park Concert Series; building a community through action | Analog Mutant: Grand Rapids MI
Super interesting. I didn't know the Avenue for the Arts existed as a place or as an option. I was at Rockwell's & Republic a few years ago, but had no idea where I was. Reminds me of a bigger version of the arts district in downtown Benton Harbor, or at least what it could be.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:49 PM
 
82 posts, read 268,252 times
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Magellan, what do you think the odds are this happens? Could you put a percentage on it? Just a gut feeling, if you will...
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,746,616 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ Granger View Post
Magellan, what do you think the odds are this happens? Could you put a percentage on it? Just a gut feeling, if you will...
Of it becoming a hot retail area? I would say at least one of the missions has to move out of the area first. I don't have an issue with homeless people asking for money, but I do have a problem with being harassed for walking down the sidewalk by someone who's whacked out on heroine, or really should be in a mental institution. And on nice sunny days when shoppers would be out or people would be eating outside, that's when the homeless population on the sidewalks there swells to the hundreds.

So I'd say 0% right now. It might fill up with office users, who don't have to have walk-in traffic.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,746,616 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by notdeconcentrate View Post
Super interesting. I didn't know the Avenue for the Arts existed as a place or as an option. I was at Rockwell's & Republic a few years ago, but had no idea where I was. Reminds me of a bigger version of the arts district in downtown Benton Harbor, or at least what it could be.
Avenue for the Arts

and Dwelling Place has a lot of artist live/work spaces

Dwelling Place | Providing homes, revitalizing neighborhoods

Rockwell's/Republic is my wife's favorite place for sushi.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:38 PM
 
82 posts, read 268,252 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Of it becoming a hot retail area? I would say at least one of the missions has to move out of the area first. I don't have an issue with homeless people asking for money, but I do have a problem with being harassed for walking down the sidewalk by someone who's whacked out on heroine, or really should be in a mental institution. And on nice sunny days when shoppers would be out or people would be eating outside, that's when the homeless population on the sidewalks there swells to the hundreds.

So I'd say 0% right now. It might fill up with office users, who don't have to have walk-in traffic.
I actually meant to ask for odds on the whitewater project coming to fruition?


I hear you on the homeless issue. We have the same problem in Denver. The main area for the homeless is right at the edge of a great part of town. All the buildings in that area would be prime real estate if it weren't so overrun with people sleeping on sidewalks and asking for money. Still, one of the most popular breakfast places, Snooze, is right in the heart of it. Always interesting to see a line out the door waiting to get a table, right across the street from hundreds homeless people hanging out.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,746,616 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ Granger View Post
I actually meant to ask for odds on the whitewater project coming to fruition?


I hear you on the homeless issue. We have the same problem in Denver. The main area for the homeless is right at the edge of a great part of town. All the buildings in that area would be prime real estate if it weren't so overrun with people sleeping on sidewalks and asking for money. Still, one of the most popular breakfast places, Snooze, is right in the heart of it. Always interesting to see a line out the door waiting to get a table, right across the street from hundreds homeless people hanging out.
Ohhhh, haha. I do know one of the guys spearheading the "river restoration" project (they've renamed it). He'll figure out a way. Or his network is big enough and includes the right people to make it happen. I believe they were at the State capitol last week and got a good reception. The fact that it will restore much of the health and ecosystem (fishing) to the river makes it more palatable than just a kayaker destination.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:10 AM
 
82 posts, read 268,252 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Ohhhh, haha. I do know one of the guys spearheading the "river restoration" project (they've renamed it). He'll figure out a way. Or his network is big enough and includes the right people to make it happen. I believe they were at the State capitol last week and got a good reception. The fact that it will restore much of the health and ecosystem (fishing) to the river makes it more palatable than just a kayaker destination.
Good deal, thanks.

I am neither a kayaker nor a fisherman, but I do like being outside and around water. If this can bring a few more people out to read a book, or have lunch, or drink some coffee near the water, and I think it will, then that is great for downtown. More people out and about is always a plus in my book. Longterm, I would think it would have a positive effect on improving the west side of the river quite a bit, too.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,746,616 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ Granger View Post
Good deal, thanks.

I am neither a kayaker nor a fisherman, but I do like being outside and around water. If this can bring a few more people out to read a book, or have lunch, or drink some coffee near the water, and I think it will, then that is great for downtown. More people out and about is always a plus in my book. Longterm, I would think it would have a positive effect on improving the west side of the river quite a bit, too.
I wonder too if it will get people to actually wade into the water as well, or climb on the boulders and rocks that will be put in. The restoration project may change the perception that the river is "dirty," which it really isn't. That could be really cool, particularly in the Summer when the river's depth is way down. Anglers fish in it all day long and catch quite a few salmon out of it now.

If it turns out even somewhat like the James River in downtown Richmond, VA, that would be pretty cool.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:56 PM
 
82 posts, read 268,252 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
I wonder too if it will get people to actually wade into the water as well, or climb on the boulders and rocks that will be put in. The restoration project may change the perception that the river is "dirty," which it really isn't. That could be really cool, particularly in the Summer when the river's depth is way down. Anglers fish in it all day long and catch quite a few salmon out of it now.

If it turns out even somewhat like the James River in downtown Richmond, VA, that would be pretty cool.
That thought crossed my mind too - if people would consider the river cleaner and not be afraid of dipping a toe in.

The project would definitely help with the city's namesake. I'm sure there are plenty people who come in from out of state for a wedding or business and wonder where the rapids are.
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